Owls roll in College Park: Terps lose 35-14

COLLEGE PARK — The Terps were embarrassed in their home opener on Saturday when they welcomed the winless Temple Owls. Maryland was routed 35-14, marking the first time the Terps have lost a home opener against an unranked opponent in over two decades.

For as good as the Terps looked week one against the Longhorns, and as well as they played in the second half of the Bowling Green game, they looked equally as bad against the Owls.  They came out flat and were simply out played and out coached. Kudos to the Temple coaching staff who put together a game plan that put their team in position to knock off the Terps.

The Terps were utterly dominated by the Owls. Temple held the Terps offense to less than 200 yards total offense. The same Terps offense who ran for 444 yards just a week ago. The Temple defense also held the Terps offense completely out of the end zone. Terps quarterback Kasim Hill spent much of the day running for his life as the Owls forced seven sacks on the day. Hill posted atrocious numbers behind center, completing just 7 passes on 17 attempts for 56 yards and an interception. The offensive line clearly missed its two starting tackles, Derwin Gray and Damian Prince. The offensive line had only given up one sack prior to Saturday’s performance.

Bright-spots were few and far between during yesterday’s lackluster performance. The only highlights were from defensive and special teams play. A stellar interception returned 36 yards by Darnell Savage in the second quarter and a blocked punt return by Jessie Aniebonam for 27 yards in the fourth quarter.

During the post game press conference, Coach Canada ran through a gauntlet of questioning. When asked about the Kasim Hill’s quarterback play Canada responded,

“It’s probably just bad coaching by me. He’s got to play better sooner, we’ve got to start faster, obviously we saw that last week [as well]. I don’t know why it’s occurring but it certainly occurred today.”

Canada fully accepted the responsibility of this loss. Throughout the press conference he placed the blame on his shoulders.

 “In the first half every second down it seemed like we did something silly — we missed an opportunity, we had a sack or we lost yardage, so all the sudden you’re in third-and-longs. Your base offense, which we think we’ve been OK at, we didn’t even get to see. We didn’t run our offense and that’s because we didn’t execute and that falls completely on me.”

Take Aways:

  1. Commit to the run game. The Terps ran for 444 yards against Bowling Green, this week they only had 132 yards on 31 carries. (Both stats are season lows)
  2. Where is the pass rush? The Terps pass rush was non-existent Saturday. The defense exploded last week in Bowling Green recording 5 total sacks, and it certainly vanished against the Owls.
  3. Commit to one of the quarterbacks. If Hill is the guy, let him take the reins and control this offense. The dual quarterback system has yet to be successful this season. Tyrell Prigrome has been less than effective when under center.
  4. Injuries really hurt the Terps Saturday as they missed vital pieces on the offensive line. This would end up being disastrous as the Owls had constant pressure on Hill for most of the game.

Next Up:

The Terps open up conference play against the undefeated Minnesota Golden Gophers next Saturday 9/22 at 12:00 pm.

Image Credit: The Baltimore Sun

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Game Reaction: Terps overcome a slow start and roll in Bowling Green

BOWLING GREEN, OH — The Terps improved to 2-0 after a 45-14 win at Doyt L. Perry Stadium. The Terps got off to a slow start and found themselves trailing 14-10 at halftime, but rallied back to score 35 unanswered points in the second half to route the Falcons.

In the first quarter, the Bowling Green fans had the stadium rocking as they welcomed a Power 5 Conference opponent for the first time since 2014. In the first few drives, the Terps’ offense looked explosive, but continued to sabotage themselves with mental mistakes leading to penalties. In the first half alone, the Terps were penalized nine times for 80 yards. On the other hand, the Falcons were taking full advantage of the physical mismatch on the outside. The Bowling Green offense boasted two distinct size advantages with receivers Quintin Morris (6’3′ 230) and Deric Phouthavong (6’5′ 205). In the first half, the Falcons had two touchdown drives, one 14-play, 89-yard drive which ended with a touchdown pass from Jarret Doege to Scott Miller. The other was a drive that ended with a broken play 29-yard touchdown pass from Doege to Morris. At halftime, the prediction’s of a “let down” game looked to be shaping up as a real possibility.

The second half was where the defense really came alive. The defensive line looked explosive firing off the ball, and absolutely dominating the smaller Bowling Green offensive line. Isaiah Davis, Antoine Brooks and Byron Cowart, led the Terps defense with a combined 3.5 and five tackles for loss. After giving up 161 total yards to the Falcons offense in the first half, the Terps defense only gave up seven combined yards in the second half.

After the game, Bowling Green head coach Mike Jinks said:

”They physically kicked our tails on both sides of the ball, up front offensively and defensively.”

As the defense absolutely dominated in the second half, Maryland interim head coach Matt Canada committed the Terps to the power run game. The Terps rolled on the ground for the next two quarters racking up a grand total of 444 yards on the ground. They averaged more than eight yards-per-carry, and carried five touchdowns into the endzone. Ty Johnson led the stellar running back group with 124 yards and a touchdown. Tayon Fleet-Davis added 102 yards and two touchdowns. Ty Johnson moved into Maryland’s top 10 all-time rushing list with his performance.

This Maryland football team scored 38 unanswered points to beat a Bowling Green team who were itching for an upset bid. Despite a rocky start, the Terps cruised to a 45-14 win behind a bone-crushing run game and stout defensive front.

OPINION

After a super emotional win against a highly touted Texas Longhorns team, this game had all of the inklings of a potential let down. The game even started with those same feelings, as he Terps ripped off some explosive runs only to shoot themselves in the foot on simultaneous drives. Coach Canada really needs to work with his guys on the mental mistakes. They were able to recover against a lackluster Bowling Green defense, but when BIG10 play opens up, these are the types of mistakes that will cost the team a game. Certainly 14-penalties for 139 yards is completely unacceptable.

The offensive and defensive line looked like real BIG10 units on the field Saturday. They were big and physical, absolutely dominating the smaller front of the Falcons. The running back group, who was stymied in Landover last weekend, showed up in force. They had two players ellipse 100 yards, had four runs for over 30+ yards. A group that needed to show up finally did. Kasim Hill played a solid game completing 50% of his passes for 121 yards and a touchdown through the air.

The Terps looked ugly in the first half, but Coach Canada must have said the right things to get his men focused. All three units came out firing on all cylinders, imposing the brute strength advantage the Terps had. Hopefully, the Terps can keep the freight train power run offense rolling as they welcome a mediocre Temple team to College Park next Saturday at 12PM.

 

 

Podcast Episode 15: Empire Writes Back’s John Carroll Jr. helps us break down Ravens’ season opener vs. Bills

Welcome to Episode 15 of the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast with site owner Jake McDonnell, editor Nolan McGraw, and author Ian Schultz.

Fake football is finally over, and on Sunday at 1:00 pm the Ravens will kick off the 2018 season against the Buffalo Bills at M&T Bank Stadium for the second time in three years. After the guys give their final thoughts on the Ravens’ 53-man roster (3:00) and react to the scary Kaare Vedvik incident from Labor Day Weekend (13:02), they tell you what to watch for during Sunday’s game (16:08).

Up next, we welcome in our special guest this week, John Carroll Jr. of Empire Writes Back, to help us break down Sunday’s game from the enemy’s perspective (28:13). Carroll Jr. is a college friend of Jake and the two spend several Sundays together in Bloomsburg watching their teams. Carroll fills us in on Nathan Peterman and goes over the 2018 outlook for Buffalo. You’ll also hear his predictions for the game.

Following the interview with Carroll Jr., the guys dive into the recent Orioles headlines (41:15) as Chance Sisco returns to the big league club hoping to end a disappointing 2018 season on a respectable note. The crew also talked about Josh Rogers and how he configures into the rebuild of the O’s.

After the Orioles segment, Jake, Nolan, and Ian recap the Terps’ 34-29 victory over Texas that opened up the 2018 season in a positive way after an absolutely terrible summer (48:16).

To wrap up the show, we dive into our weekly numbers segment, taking a look at the best Ravens & Orioles players to wear the number 15 (54:07).

You can find the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast on SoundCloudiTunes, and now Google Play. Please leave us a review on iTunes, we love to hear your feedback and may read it on a future episode. Thank you for listening!